Maritime Police dispersed a crowd of around 800 youngsters at Albufeira’s Praia da Oura on Saturday evening (July 3).
The youngsters – most of them foreigners and enjoying their school finalists’ trip in the Algarve – were informed about the current Covid-19 rules and advised to avoid large gatherings, the police force said in a statement.
It added that the youngsters, mostly aged 16 to 18, respected their orders and that there were no cases of disobedience.
However this seems to have been more than just a one-off situation in Albufeira, where restaurants and beach bars are being forced to close at 3.30pm on the weekend due to the borough’s epidemiological situation.
Instead of helping control the situation, local business owners believe it is making matters worse.
“Given that the terraces all close at 3.30pm, youngsters gather at the beach and stay there until very late and sometimes all night long,” Carlos Vieira, a beach concessionaire, told RTP.
As he explained, as soon as restaurants close, young revelers opt to purchase alcoholic beverages at supermarkets to drink at the beach into the night – often until police tell them to leave.
“They are all staying together at the same house. It is hard to tell groups like these that they can’t spend time together,” Vieira added.
RTP also interviewed a group of youngsters who admitted to having organised a party, attended by around 60 to 70 people, at the house they are staying at.
“Police never came by, so…,” one of the youngsters said.
The state television channel added that GNR police have received anonymous tips about several illegal parties taking place in the borough, many of which have been shut down.